Rats, Mice, Gophers, squirrels, armadillos, and raccoons can do thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in damage to your home and lawn. nearly every homeowner’s insurance policy contains a clause excluding gradual damage caused by rodents. But nearly every homeowner’s insurance policy will cover sudden and unexpected damage that is caused by rodents, or that results in the damage to your property by rodents after other sudden and unexpected damage to your home.
Typically the language in your policy will read something to the effect of “Unless the resulting loss is a Loss Not Insured, we will pay for accidental direct loss for” and then there is a reference to a list of causes of homeowner casualty such as windstorms, fires, tornadoes, and, if you purchase an appropriate rider or a separate specialized policy, earthquakes and floods.
A homeowner reads this and says HUH?
I can not give you legal advice here, but the question you need to ask your insurance agent or your attorney is whether you are covered for the consequences of insured losses.
A quick example, a windstorm blows shingles off your roof, and then a family of raccoons takes up residence in your attic and their poopy raccoon pooh leaks through gnawed holes in your drywall ceilings. Before you can get your roof repaired, your insurance company will probably pay for both the damage to your roof and to your ceiling. If a family of rodents takes up residence in your attic and then a windstorm blows shingles off your attic, you will probably just get paid for the damage to your roof.
As a Realtor, I’ve experienced more incidents of damages by raccoons, to the point they broke water pipes and the owner of their 2nd home didn’t find out about it for almost 45 days. A family of Armadillos on more than 6 occasions have compromised, concrete patio’s, a bedroom concrete slab, pool decks, shed foundations, and it goes on. Beware and be covered.